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Thursday, August 11, 2022


Sen. Lorraine Berry, chairman of the Finance Committee, said she has heard that the Virgin Islands harbors an anti-business climate. She said the Virgin Islands has a reputation for "stonewalling" potential investors.
Berry said she wants the administration to implement a recommendation made by Public Finance Authority Director Amadeo I.D. Francis in a preliminary budget hearing Tuesday. Francis recommended that a point person, "working at the highest level of government," be appointed to walk potential investors through the process of establishing a business in the Virgin Islands.
The person would also be assigned to seek out investors, scrutinize their portfolio to determine viability and arrange meetings with the governor and other top officials.
Berry said, in a release from her office, "Our competitors, in an effort to lure investors to their shores, are establishing what is commonly called a 'one-stop,'" a business start-up operation which boasts that all the necessary permits will be in place within 30 days of application.
Berry said every viable recommendation should be implemented, especially when forthcoming from top experts in industrial and commercial development.
One of the other recommendations Francis made, as noted in an earlier report in St. Thomas Source, was that all government employees making over $30,000 should immediately demand that their salaries be cut by 10 percent.
"Starting with the people right here," he said, referring to the Senators.

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